Napoli haven’t won a major trophy (bar the Coppa Italia) since Diego Maradona guided them to the 1990 Serie A title. But it seems that their three-decade wait is finally coming to an end, as they are on the verge of securing the 2022–2023 domestic league title. The Partenopei have been dominant in the European tournament as well, outclassing their opponents in the UEFA Champions League. Let’s take a look at Napoli’s recent success and where they are in the current season.
S.S.C. Napoli Trophy Drought: Recent History and Major Success
Napoli’s Rise To Fame
Napoli was founded in 1905, but they weren’t well-known to European football fans until the mid-1980s. Diego Maradona was instrumental in bolstering support for the club. Maradona helped Napoli win two Serie A championships and one Europa League, giving them three major titles to date. They had only won two Coppa Italia before that.
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Diego Maradona is considered their finest player in club history. In the summer of 2000, Napoli retired the No. 10 shirt in his honour. Even the stadium was given a new name—Stadio Diego Armando Maradona—after his demise in November 2020.
When Maradona left Napoli in 1991, the team struggled to maintain its stride. Even worse, they were relegated to Serie B after finishing 18th in the 1997–98 season. They only participated in one Serie A season from 1998 to 2007 and even ended up in the Serie C1 division.
Napoli have been consistent since the 2007–2008 season, and four times after that they have finished second in Serie A. They have appeared in seven Champions League seasons since the competition’s rebranding in 1992. In fact, the 2011–2012 campaign marked their debut in the UCL. Their best-ever result in the UCL tournament is qualifying for the quarterfinals in the current campaign.
Napoli’s Silverware to Date:
Serie A (2): 1986–87, 1989–90
UEFA Europa League: 1988-1989
Coppa Italia: 1961–62, 1975–76, 1986–87, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2019–20
How Have Napoli Performed in the 2022-2023 Serie A Season?
Coach Luciano Spalletti’s team is in contention for two major trophies, the Serie A and Champions League, this season. They only missed out on the Coppa Italia after losing to Cremonese in the Round of 16.
Napoli have bossed the Serie A this campaign, leading the points table with 19 points over second-placed Lazio. They have so far registered 23 victories out of 27 matches this season. With only 11 games to be played, Napoli’s winning the third domestic league title is all but assured.
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S.S.C. Napoli’s Route to the UEFA Champions League 2022-2023 Final
Napoli shocked everyone by finishing ahead of Liverpool and topping their group in the UCL last November. They won five of their six games in Group A, including a convincing 4-1 home win against the Reds.
Napoli met Eintracht Frankfurt in the Round of 16 and won comprehensively in both legs. For the first time in their history, they advanced to the quarterfinals of the Champions League and will take on AC Milan in the round of eight. The Partenopei’s quarter-final matches will be held on April 12 and April 18.
With their recent performance and overall team strength, Napoli will surely start as the favourite against Milan in their quarter-final matchup. If Napoli defeat Milan, they may potentially play another Italian team, Inter Milan, in the semifinals if they advance.
In the present scenario, Napoli are the clear favourite to advance to the Champions League 2022–2023 final, which will take place on June 10 at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium.
Which Players Have Played a Major Role in Ciucciarelli’s Success in This Campaign?
Victor Osimhen of Nigeria and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Georgia have both made remarkable strides for Napoli this season. The connection between the two has proven to be fruitful. Osimhen has scored 21 goals so far this season, while Kvaratskhelia has 12 goals and 10 assists.
In the Champions League, Giacomo Raspadori, Giovanni Simeone, and Victor Osimhen have all netted four goals, while Kvaratskhelia has the most assists with four. Moreover, Piotr Zielinski and Mario Rui have consistently performed well for their team. Spalletti’s 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1 formations have proved to be successful in getting the job done. The players are committed to achieving great success for their club, and the team’s chemistry has been outstanding.
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Napoli Trophy Drought in Serie A to End
Napoli appear to be ending their Serie A trophy drought of more than three decades far earlier than the season’s end. They have a better chance than ever of winning the UEFA Champions League as well. Napoli should have no trouble at all making it to the final because they now look unstoppable and are surely headed for exceptional glory this season.